Baptist Health Awarded Land O’Lakes Grant to Address Food Insecurity in River Valley

FORT SMITH, Ark. – Baptist Health Foundation was recently awarded $2,500 from Land O’Lakes, Inc.

The money will be used to provide a drip irrigation system for Baptist Health-Fort Smith’s rooftop garden which was built last fall on top of Marvin Altman Fitness Center. Matthew Crabtree, president of the Farmers Cooperative in Van Buren, was instrumental in helping secure the Land O’Lakes grant, and has been a great supporter of the garden. Farmers Cooperative is a member-owner of Land O’Lakes.  

“We are so excited to be a part of the rooftop garden project, and the impact it can and will make in our community,” Crabtree said. “Food insecurity, particularly the availability of healthy fruits and vegetables, is a problem we can all work to remedy, and I think this project is a wonderful step in the right direction.”

Fresh produce from the garden will supplement Baptist Health-Fort Smith’s Food Rx program, which aims to improve the health and nutrition of patients hospitalized at the facility. Patients are screened upon admission and, if self-identified as food-insecure, they will benefit from the program. Food Rx provides emergency food supplies for patients consisting of a three-day food supply for a family of four and a resource list of food pantries and community resources upon discharge from the hospital. 

“As a part of our commitment to communities where Land O’Lakes, Inc. members, employees, and facilities are located, we are pleased to support initiatives that enhance the quality of life in those regions,” said Morgan Kinross-Wright, vice president of community relations and executive director, Land O’Lakes Foundation. 

Purina Mills, the iconic brand within the Animal Nutrition business unit of Land O’Lakes, manufactured the protein tubs that Crabtree donated to be reused as planters on the rooftop garden. 

“The repurpose of the empty protein tubs aligns perfectly with the tub recycling program Purina and the local Farmers Coop has implemented,” Crabtree said. “Through the Land O’Lakes Foundation and Community Relations we are eligible to submit local philanthropic projects or charities for grant consideration. We believed this was a great full-circle story, and deserved a proposal.”

If any community volunteers or organizations are interested in learning more about how they can be involved in the rooftop garden located on Baptist Health-Fort Smith’s campus, please contact Dawn Turner, development and special event officer with Baptist Health Foundation, at


About Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2022 annual sales of $19 billion, Land O’Lakes is one of the nation’s largest cooperatives, ranking 213 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 100 years of operation, Land O’Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O’Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minnesota.

About Baptist Health Foundation

Baptist Health Foundation serves as a bridge between philanthropic partners and advocates who strive to build a healthier Arkansas. Each dollar we receive goes toward improving the lives of the people in our state. The Foundation annually raises millions of dollars to support life-changing programs and life-saving care, a feat only made possible by the generosity of those who give. From individual donors to businesses to other charitable entities, our partners bring our mission to life and help countless Arkansans on their journeys toward health and wellness.

About Baptist Health

For more than a century, Baptist Health has delivered all our best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health, Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization, is here For You. For Life. – with more than 250 points of access that include 12 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; and a graduate residency program. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app